Month: March 2002

Chiropractic in Panama

By Kindra Osterhart, age 15

For a chiropractor to be, a chiropractic mission to the country of Panama is amazing. The experience of watching my mother and other chiropractor’s adjust, made me see the complete and whole truth of God working through the chiropractors.

The people of Panama are so accepting of chiropractic, that they run to the chairs for their adjustments. As I observed the people, I realized how much they love life and how intelligent they are. The children in Panama love to be adjusted. There was a young girl (named Jessica) with leg braces on her legs, after one adjustment the braces were taken off and she ran out of the building. That is definitely God working miracles. Some of the people have serious problems, but after their adjustments, they always left with a smile and a better attitude.

dorausch adjusting panama 2002

I feel that I’m so blessed to have had the experience of this mission. I know in my heart that I definitely want to be a chiropractor and help serve all of mankind. For me chiropractic is more than an adjustment, it is total health and complete connection with God. To be connected with God is the most important thing in the world. So let’s get connected, stay connected and serve God to the best of our ability! @ 7:35 am | Article ID: 1015860919

Chiropractors Receive Key to Panama City

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Panama City, Panama: Dr. Luis and Lina Ocon of Salinas, California were handed the key to the city of Panama today for the chiropractic humanitarian work provided in Panama during the past week.

chiropractors receive key panama

For seven days, 32 chiropractors along with their staff and some family, provided care to the people of the country of Panama. The group, known as Chiropractors Restoring Energy Worldwide (CREW) was in Panama for the seventh time since the program began in 1997. Chiropractors provided care in civic gymnasiums, government offices, privately owned factories and bus terminals, retirement centers, orphanages, malnutrition homes, and prisons.

The mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro, addressed a large crowd that had gathered the Roberto Duran Gymnasium to receive chiropractic adjustments telling them that the municipal government had sponsored the chiropractic activities in order, “to offer one a better quality of life.”

On previous missions to Panama, CREW has been responsible for providing chiropractic care to more than 300,000 people in a single week. To date, it is estimated that more than one million upper cervical chiropractic adjustments have been received by Panamanians as a result of these missions.

The people of Panama always respond in large numbers and with great appreciation for the chiropractic care provided to them. During these missions, chiropractors are given access to every possible location, so that those in need of care are able to receive it.

Mayor Addresses Chiropractors
Photo: The mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro,
expresses his appreciation to a group of chiropractors before
handing the key to the city to Dr. Luis and Lina Ocon.
Lina Ocons parents are also in the photo (on the far right).
Juan Carlos Navarro, the mayor of Panama City, is a graduate of Dartmouth college. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He has been selected by TIME magazine as one of The 100 More Promising Young Leaders of the Planet for the Next Millennium. Dr. Luis Ocon is a 1990 graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, California. @ 6:14 pm | Article ID: 1015726449

CREW Mission – The Womens Prison and More

It’s Friday, and I just found a computer in an office that has internet access so I thought I’d post an article placeholder as I have no idea how soon I’ll get access again.

adjustments for all

Today, I visited the “Casa De Mujeres” or House of Women, the prison here in Panama for female offenders. This has been my second visit to the prison in two years and it was nice to be recognized by many of the ladies there. What a contrast to the conditions at the mens prison (La Joya).

After leaving the womens prison we again went to La Joya to adjust guards and military personnel. I hope to have photos and more articles up by tomorrow.

Have a super weekend! @ 3:58 pm | Article ID: 1015631904

The Jewel of Panama – A chiropractors experience in one of the world’s most feared prisons

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

La Joya, “the jewel” in english, is a primary maximum security facility in the country of Panama. It houses prisoners accused of the most serious crimes. La Joya has a planned capacity of 1,250, yet it currently houses over 2,200 inmates. It is located about 50 miles outside of Panama city.

On the morning of March 7th, 2002, four chiropractors (part of the March 2002 CREW Chiropractic Mission to Panama), including myself, were informed that we would be providing chiropractic care inside the jewel of Panama.

We traveled to the prison by bus in what seemed to be a very long ride. First we had to get off the main road and go to the north on a dirt road which brought us to our first checkpoint. Here, prison guards with shotguns and rifles stop us to gather more information. There were eight of us in the group, including myself and three other chiropractors, Drs. Beilizaire, Martin, and LaMarca. After a brief wait we traveled about another 200 yards and we were at our second checkpoint. This checkpoint had many more guards and appeared to be the main office facility for prison guards and workers. At this checkpoint they let us through a gate and we head further north towards the La Joya main prison entrance. There are guards in towers with rifles and they are dressed in full military assault type clothing.

I stepped off the bus and there was a fire burning to the north. It appeared to be garbage and large amounts of smoke were blowing across the prison yard. I could see the buildings in which the prisoners lived. It did not look anything like a prison you would see in a U.S. made movie, it looked much more like a concentration camp or a prisoner of war camp type of setting. We were standing at the middle of the gates and there was about 500 yards of chain-link fence to the north and to the south. The fences appeared to be about 18 feet high with another 3 feet of razor wire on top.

A big rectangle, imagine a big fenced in rectangle, and it’s all dirt and dead grass. You go in about 20 feet and there is a second fence that is the same height also with razor wire on top. In between the fences is a guard riding a horse and he’s carrying a very large gun. In addition to that, on each corner are guard towers with riflemen in them. The smoke is blowing to the south from the garbage that is burning which makes for a very ominous look and feel as it billows across the compound. This thick smoke is coming past us and across the prison yard, and I am looking out at the prison yard and it’s all smoky. Everyone is quiet.

We were not allowed to approach the entrance as guards were processing about 20 new inmates that may have been going to prison for the first time. I’m watching these twenty men standing thirty feet from me that for the first time in their lives may be going to a maximum security prison. They are being let into this prison one by one. Basically, in this rectangle you have the main directors building right in the center of the prison yard, and then you have some buildings to the left and some buildings to the right, each of which houses prisoners.

There’s a concrete path about the width of a sidewalk that goes from the main entrance up to the main building. The guards are processing each prisoner in a small building at the main entrance while we wait. Each prisoner has his hands tied behind his back with heavy nylon ties and they are sent one by one along the walk up to the main building. One prisoner is sent to walk and when he has reached far enough along on the walk (which is about 100 yards) the next prisoner is sent up on the walk. I watch these guys as the smoke is passing between us and I’m wondering, what are these 18, 19 and 20-year-olds going up the walk thinking? What’s in their heads?

They were sent one at a time, one guy would go, and then another would be sent. There was a guard on the north side with a large gun sitting on a horse. He was watching as each prisoner walked up the walk to the main building. It was at this time that the reality of the situation began to really become much more clear to me. I must admit, I have always had a fear of prisons. I had just never given it much thought up until this moment.

Let’s face it, here I am a blond haired blue eyed male and I am going to get nose to nose with these people. These guys are going in and they may never be coming out. I couldn’t fathom being in their position. The guards complete processing the new prisoners and it is our turn to walk up the walk. I begin walking up the path, this concrete walk up to the main building. At this time, all newly processed prisoners have already entered the main building. As I’m walking up the path I thought at first I heard birds but it was whistling from the inmates. The whistling got louder and there were words shouted which I didn’t understand since I don’t speak much Spanish. As it turns out, they were catcalling and it was intended to dehumanize us, to strike fear in our hearts. They did not know who we were, all they knew was that fresh meat was entering the prison compound.

Imagine more than 2000 prisoners calling out, whistling, like you would see in a movie when a new inmate enters the prison compound. I hadn’t noticed it earlier since I was on the bus when the first prisoners were being processed but now I was walking the walk and had a closer understanding of the experience. It’s coming from both sides, and we are each walking, each member of our group and no one is talking to one another. Everyone is very quiet and is just walking towards the main building. I found out later that we were all having similar thoughts, this was not like walking into a prison in the U.S. The reality was that we were in a foreign country, in a faraway place, and anything could happen, at any time.

It was not like they were going to bring prisoners to us at the gate, so we had to enter the compound in order to adjust. At this point I’m standing in the directors building and we’re only about 10 to 15 feet from the new prisoners that had just been processed. They are sitting on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. My first thought was that I had to use a bathroom because the last thing I wanted to do was wet my pants if someone had startled me.

Apparently, all of us had to go. We all went to use the bathroom and when we come back the prison guards asked if one of us would like to stay and adjust the guards and prison workers inside the main building. I was really ready to volunteer but there was a female in our group and we all probably felt it would be best if she stayed. So now there is myself, Drs. Gene and Marco, heading off to the first prison block on the southwest side. There were about four guards with us, some of them carrying very large gun’s and the others carrying a club about the size of baseball bat. However, these clubs looked like a straight solid black baseball bat with a small leather string at one end where the handle was. They appeared to be well worn.

So we walk through the sand, dirt, and dead grass and the wind is blowing up debris as we head to the first cell building. There are all these series of high fences with razor wire that we have to pass through before we get to the first spot. We get to the first cell building which really looks just like a large cinder block rectangle building with a tin roof. There are bars on the windows about eight feet up the walls and they are full of faces trying to see what we are preparing to do. There is only one door to the building that I can see.

The guards bring us four folding chairs and we set them up just outside the buildings front wall. I have two chairs and I’m standing less than two feet from about 20 prisoners watching me through the bars. I don’t know how many prisoners where in this first building which could not have been more than 200 feet long and 100 feet wide. Many slept on the floor and hammocks were strung in every available space, some all the way up to the ceiling from what I could see. Most of the prisoners did not have beds, they had cardboard or foam for the floor, or the hammocks.

We started there and these guys came out in groups of 4 in front of the guards and sat in our chairs. It was not like I had anticipated, it was not like something you might see on 60 minutes when an inmate gets interviewed for TV. These guys did not look like what I had expected. They were mostly about 135 pounds to 185 pounds, five feet to six feet tall and wearing a pair of flip-flops, shorts or underwear, and a T-shirt (which I later found each inmate was told to put on before they came outside). In this first group of prisoners, I noticed they were mostly covered with tattoos. I was told later many were gang tattoos. I was trying to stay real focused and centered as I adjusted each of these individuals. “I’m going to give them everything I’ve got with each and every adjustment” I told myself. “We are all one, we are all one, we are all one,” I thought.

I’m adjusting, adjusting, adjusting, adjusting and they begin calling out from the cell bars. This is one time in Panama that I felt fortunate I did not know what they were talking about. I kept telling myself that they were saying that they love us, that they were thankful for us being there, but I sensed that some of them were saying something different, especially by the looks I could see on the guards faces. The guards were very calm as they watched everything we did.

We continued to adjust. We were in the prison for about 2 1/2 hours and we adjusted at six different locations within the prison. We walked to the second cell building and there was a hand-painted sign on the door that said “La Cosita” which translates to “the small thing” in English. Now this building was even smaller than the first we were at and again, prisoners were brought out four at a time to be adjusted. As I looked on the ground I noticed there were broken razors, razor blades, and trash strewn around. After we finished adjusting at that location I was informed that this was where former police officers were serving time for crimes committed while on duty. Again, most prisoners that I adjusted had no more than a pair of shorts or underwear on, a T-shirt, and their sandals or sometimes shoes without laces.

When we arrived at the fourth building we had a few experiences to remind us of the reality of where we were. As each prisoner comes out they are hand checked by guards. Each of us are adjusting and we hear some of the guards talking and then one of the guards presents a 12 inch homemade Bowie knife. It was made out of steel and looked to be a bit rusty at the handle but it appeared to be very sharp and very large. I assume it was found in the building or on one of the inmates. The guard showed it to the other guards and did not try to hide it in front of any of us which at first I thought was a little odd but I think the guards wanted everyone to know that they would find weapons if the inmates had them. While we were adjusting, two more homemade weapons were found both looking very similar to the first. Now imagine for moment, you’re in a foreign country, in a prison, making hands on contact with each person put before you and the nearest guard is about 10 feet away holding either a gun or a club. Yet you are only inches from the ones you touch during nearly all of the 2 1/2 hours you’re in this prison setting, completely vulnerable.

This really brought home the seriousness of where we were at and what we were doing there. Of the 2285 prisoners, we were told that we adjusted more than 1100 that afternoon. Not everybody came out to be adjusted in the time that we were there and we were to come back on another day.

When we are all done we headed back to the main central building where now we were going to take that 100 yard walk back out to the prison gates. I felt free. I don’t mean free like I was glad not to be a prisoner (although I was glad for what I have), I felt free like I had given everything I possibly could and while I was there to serve them I was receiving a gift greater than I could possibly describe. I felt as though I had been preparing for this day for some time.

Many thoughts came my way during that hundred yard walk and I was gone. I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually in another place. I walked next to Lina Ocon as a warm wind blew and the western sun shined on our faces. The smoke from the earlier fire had cleared but the men were still yelling, only it was much louder than when we first entered the prison. I could hear it from both sides and I just walked not saying a word to Lina. Close to the end of our walk, I looked at her face and she was smiling. She looked at me and said, “do you know what they’re saying?” I responded: no, what are they saying? She said, “they’re saying God bless you, thank you, God bless you.” @ 3:51 pm | Article ID: 1015545071

CREW Photos from Tuesday in Panama

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Sorry I missed Tuesday. It was a great day and I was physically spent by days end. Today I witnessed Dr. Joe Accurso perform some 20 health talks in Spanish. He was incredible. We were very busy yesterday as Joe would gather about 40 – 60 people and give them a 15 minute talk on chiropractic. After the talk the ran (the really did) to nearby chairs to be checked and cleared if needed. I had an experience of a lifetime.

joe accurso panama 2002

Look carefully at the photo above. Every eye is on Joe as he puts on an amazing health talk. He had volunteers come up and he did some kind of a good spine – bad spine routine that was awesome for educating the folks.

Tell me that is not a cool photo. I had the honor to adjust the folks after Joe gave the talks. What a day! Full article coming soon, I have not finished transcribing my notes. @ 4:21 pm | Article ID: 1015460488

Panama City Bus Terminal – The Brain Stem

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I have been to many different locations in Panama but I’ve never seen anything like the recently built bus terminal in Panama City. If you have ever been to Panama, you certainly noticed there are many buses. Hundreds of converted school buses crowd the roads of Panama delivering Panamanians to and from the country’s interior into the corridor of Panama City.

cordero balsamo panamaPhotograph of Dr. Edwin Cordero, Jillian (a CA from Texas), Dr. Johnny Balsamo, and Robert (our awesome assistant in Panama).

Moments after this photograph was taken we were approached by security and told that photos and/or cameras are not permitted to be used inside the terminal as there are many banks located there. However, within a half-hour of us adjusting in the terminal, the security guard that told us we could not use cameras sat down to be adjusted. After that moment we were cleared to roll video and shoot photographs throughout the day.

The setup at the bus terminal was perfect. Thousands upon thousands of people pass through the location each and every day from all across Panama. We were set up right smack in the middle of the terminal and once the adjusting began, it did not stop. To my knowledge, the terminal was the fastest growing new adjusting location in CREW mission history. On the first day we saw more than 2100. On the second day that number was doubled (still with only three chiropractors). More than 5000 people were checked and adjusted (by the same three chiropractors) on the final day at that location.

cordero adjusting twins

Photos of Dr. Edwin Cordero of Lantana, Florida adjusting two twin boys in the bus terminal.

Shared here are two photographs of Dr. Edwin Cordero adjusting two twin boys at the bus terminal in Panama City. One brother receives a chiropractic adjustment as the other looks on. Afterwards they stop to take a photo of Dr. Ed before he continues on with the other folks that are waiting to be adjusted that afternoon.

Photo of Dr. Johnny B. of New York along with a crowd.

John Balsamo 2002

For Dr. John B. of Babylon, New York, adjusting at the terminal was like being in Penn Station in New York City. This guy flowed from person to person like he was dancing. The terminal was really hopping at this point and barely any of the nine chairs available remained empty for more than 10 or 15 seconds between adjustments. The breeze flowed through the terminal which helped to keep us cool although the temperature in Panama all week was around 90 degrees. This was an open air not air-conditioned adjusting location.

The terminal to me represented a great way to receive chiropractic care. Thousands pass through on their way to various destinations in Panama and as they do, they are checked and cleared and then continue on their way. It’s just a part of ones day. @ 4:20 pm | Article ID: 1015460441

The Baseball Field

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

A field of dreams. What’s a good way to finish up a high volume (spirit) day? Being invited to adjust the countries top baseball team before they paly tonight’s game.

Since I don’t have much time today to write (we are being kept very busy) I just included some photos to share.

Mike D Adjusting Team

The above photo is of me adjusting team players from Panama’s top ranked pro baseball team. I was having lunch today after a morning of seeing a bunch of folks and received a call to come and adjust and meet the team. What an awesome day!

The team looking on

Above is a photo of the team watching players get adjusted. I’ll have an article up maybe tomorrow or the next day so please check back here soon. @ 4:19 pm | Article ID: 1015460367

Group Experience in Colon Panama

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Welcome everybody. Today I had the privilege to visit the town of Colon in Panama. A group of us boarded a bus at about 7:30 AM and headed out on a one-hour drive to the city where we would adjust today. We had heard many things about Colon (most of them not good due to the poverty in the area) but we were all eager to serve. No one in this particular group had been to Colon before so we did not know what to expect.

Our first stop was at the mayor’s office. We were asked to come inside and meet the mayor. We were greeted by so many smiling, hard-working individuals that immediately began expressing gratitude for our choice to attend to the people of Colon. They served as coffee and water, we took photos with the mayor for Colon’s monthly publication, and then we jumped back on the bus and headed off to the gymnasium where a group would adjust until 2 PM.

The children are most important The gymnasium was typical of that we’ve seen in many towns in Panama. Concrete walls, a tin roof, and heat, lots and lots of heat (it’s in the 90’s here). After a group circle, we began adjusting. Within a few moments, Dr. Joe Redondo and myself were taken by the Director of Provinces to the local government buildings. There, Joe and I adjusted everyone in the government buildings (including staff and visitors) and we had a great time. After we left the government buildings we went around the corner to the local elementary school. School begins next week and faculty and staff were preparing for the children to return to class. Some children and their parents were in the faculty offices taking care of school related paperwork so we were asked to set up some chairs outside the office and serve. The faculty, the staff, the parents, and most importantly, the children all received adjustments, and some hugs as well. I’ll tell you this, I love what I do, and I love to be able to share it with others.

After we were done for the day, I asked the group to give me some feedback on their first impressions of our trip to Colon. Here’s what they had to say…

Joe Redondo, D.C. – Ponce, Puerto Rico
My impression of today is very much one of surprise and happiness because I saw the need for chiropractic adjustments and I saw the need of the people and the inability for people to be able to afford this type of care, and the appreciation of the people for getting it. I believe with all my heart that the schools should organize missions like this to show the graduating seniors the importance of being with the people, because it is not taught in the schools, not like this.

Sherry Goldsberry, D.C. – Tampa, Florida
I’m amazed, I did not know that we were going to see that many people, that we were going to adjust that many people, and I hope to adjust many more in the days to come. I was just happy to see how everybody excepted us and was so excited to have us there.

Michael Schweitzer, D.C. – Seattle, WA
Today was just phenomenal. I’ve been down here before, and to go in to the gymnasium… they really didn’t have anything set up so we put some people out there talking on the street and it’s amazing how many people came in, got adjusted, loved getting adjusted, and are coming back tomorrow. We had family’s going back home and coming back with the rest of their family members and friends.

Amanda and Melissa (Lynch) were doing a fantastic job just talking to people. They didn’t even speak the language, and a lot of people stopped to help as they explained what we were doing inside, people would go out after they got adjusted and there was one man who acted as the interpreter because he got adjusted and he wanted to help out in any way he could. Everybody plays such a vital role, it’s just awesome.

Scott Lynch, D.C. – Seattle, WA
It was just phenomenal, it was awesome to see folks just coming in to get adjusted, they would just come in and get adjusted. I would say the most impressive thing was the kids that were there didn’t want to leave, they were excited to be there and they want to hang out and watch what we were doing because there was such a constant vibe in the room and they just wanted to hang out and high five us, that was cool.

Melissa Lynch, – Seattle WA
I heard things about Colon before I came but I came with an open mind, the people there are so nice and so welcoming and so friendly. They were so open to what we were doing and like Mike said they were still trying to bring their friends as we were closing down. The people that were skeptical, they were the ones or bringing everybody back with everyone they knew.

Amanda Wilson, C. A. – Seattle WA
I was amazed at how welcomed I felt. I was standing out greeting people and I didn’t know the language. All I did was say chiropractic and pointed to my neck and telling them to come in and most of them got it said “oh” and came in and for those that didn’t the interpreter explained to them and then they came in. It was amazing that this man stood out there in the sun with me for at least two hours because he had the experience of being adjusted and he wanted to share it.

“Tomorrow, with your family.” @ 4:20 pm | Article ID: 1015287633

CREW Mission to Panama 2002

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Panama City, Panama – Mar. 3rd 2002: Today, we begin the eighth C.R.E.W. (Chiropractors Restoring Energy Worldwide) mission to the country of Panama.

C.R.E.W. - Chiropractors I will be bringing you articles daily from different locations across the country of Panama. Most of the articles will be in somewhat of a diary format as this mission unfolds. I will attempt to include photographs from each day here so that you can better visualize the experience. I would like you to be a part of this mission of chiropractic. Now more than ever, I ask that you share the information I will bring to you this week with your colleagues, staff, friends and family. It is very important to remember that THE MISSION is not a local phenomena, it is indeed a worldwide event that will touch the lives of countless numbers of people. If I send e-mails this week, please forward them onto others as I may not have the opportunity to do so myself. Again, I want everyone possible to be a part of this mission of chiropractic.

It’s 8 AM and the C.R.E.W. has gathered for our first breakfast together. This is traditional for our first Sunday morning here in Panama City as the group gets together, gets to know one another, gets reacquainted, and we get direction as to what it is we will be doing during the next seven days here in Panama.

Each of the doctors, staff, and family members take turns introducing themselves to the group. For me, this is my sixth time here in Panama and my seventh chiropractic mission. After a brief breakfast Dr. Luis Ocon stands to address the group. He shares with us his excitement for the week ahead and gives one piece of advice (that is given on every mission). “Have no expectations” are the words spoken, and while I’ve heard them six times before, they are words that are easier said than done.

Can we let go of our expectations and our limitations? Can I, can you? Because attached to those expectations are limitations, even though we may think there are none. Often times, people are told not to have expectations because they do not want to be let down. This is not what I speak of. In an abundant universe, it is quite the opposite. If we can free ourselves from our preconceived thoughts and emotions, we open ourselves up to that limitless abundance that is so present in each and every one of our lives.

Luis shared with us the following quote:
“The Masters in the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds and their religion. They simply pursue their vision of excellence at what ever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them, they are always doing both.” – James Mitchner

Here are some of the rules:
1) We are all one
2) We are guests in this country (we are all guests on this planet)
3) Intent is critical, be focused
4) Due to the number of people that will be seen, adjusting will be centered on the upper cervical spine
5) Be your best

After Luis, Lina Ocon gives us the details. The locations in Panama are as follows: Panama City, Colon, and Chiriqui (pronounced cheer a key). In Panama City, groups will be adjusting at the Lions Club which is in the center of the city (El Centro), and “the stadium” which is literally a huge indoor stadium that seats some 5000 people. Chiropractors in Panama City will also be at EPA (a school for special-needs kids), which has had groups there on every mission. The group heading off to Chiriqui will be flying out in the morning and we will see them again on Saturday.

Chiropractors from across North America are gathered and ready to serve. Are you ready to serve? Today we begin.

– – – – – – – – – –
Be sure to check in tomorrow as I’ll be bringing you our first update from adjusting areas along with a simple step, that if followed, will explode your practice and chiropractic worldwide in as few as 24 hours. @ 3:53 pm | Article ID: 1015199634